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Restored synagogue in Mumbai reopens

Mumbai, Feb 5  Knesset Eliyahoo Synagogue in Kala Ghoda, popularly known as the Blue Synagogue, was thrown open to the public Tuesday, after a year and a half of restoration work. The synagogue is a building in which Jewish people worship and study their religion

Among Mumbai’s iconic structures, the 135-year-old synagogue is open to not only members of the Jewish community but to all people irrespective of faith.

Solomon Sopher, chairman of the Sir Jacob Sassoon and Allied Trust said, “Visitors will have to carry a valid ID that will be checked by our security team”.

The place features Victorian stained-glass windows, Burma teak interiors and furnishing, and pillars with gold trim.

The facade now sports a white and darker blue combination from the earlier sky blue that gave this house of worship its popular name.

Conservation architect Abha Narain Lambah, with support from JSW Foundation, has transformed the place. In 2008, Madonna had dropped by while she was in the city.

History-: In 1832, David Sasson immigrated to Bombay and established himself as a magistrate of the cotton industry. He built the Magen David Synagogue in Kolkata in 1861; this was in addition to the older Magen Hasidim synagogue. His son, Abdulla Sassoon, transformed the weaving industry in Bombay. To cater to the increasing need of the Baghdadi Jews, Knesset Eliyahoo synagogue was constructed on a premium piece of land in the hub of Bombay’s commercial area by Jacob Sassoon, grandson of David Sassoon, commemorating his father, Eliyahoo Sassoon. It was established in 1884.

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